Quotations page 10
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
1984 - George Orwell
"The essence of oligarchical
rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of
a certain world-view and a certain way of life ... A ruling group
is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors...
Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical
structure remains always the same."
George Orwell, 1984
"Our rulers make the news,
but they do not appear in the news, not as they really are-not
as a political class, a governing establishment, a body of leaders
with great and pervasive powers, with deep, often dark, ambitions.
In the American republic the fact of oligarchy is the most dreaded
knowledge of all, and our news keeps that knowledge from us. By
their subjugation of the press, the political powers in America
have conferred on themselves the greatest of political blessings-Gyges'
ring of invisibility. And they have left the American people more
deeply baffled by their own country's politics than any people
on earth. Our public realm lies steeped in twilight, and we call
that twilight news."
"Reporters are puppets.
They simply respond to the pull of the most powerful strings."
"[The American press has]
at least as much power in determining the course of the republic
as the executive, legislative, and judicial branches set forth
in the Constitution."
Walter Annenberg, publisher
"The American press exercises
perhaps the greatest power there [is] in politics: the power to
William Rusher, publisher
"Bipartisan foreign policy
is the ideal for the executive because you can't run this damned
country any other way.... Now the way to do that is to say politics
stops at the seaboard, and anyone who denies that postulate is
a son-of-a-bitch and a crook and not a true patriot. Now if people
will swallow that then you're off to the races."
"We should love America
because it is free, not because it is feared."
Critics of American involvement
"[America] is most fully
a nation, most intensely alive as an entity, when it wages war
against other nations. Even in peacetime it is the memory of past
wars and the menace of future wars that keep the idea of the nation
alive in America. War and the cult of the nation are virtually
one and the same."
"The job of the President
is to set the agenda and the job of the press is to follow the
agenda that the leadership sets."
Lawrence Grossman - longtime head
of PBS and NBC News
"If we add up the current
Pentagon budget, the nuclear weapons budget of the Energy Department,
the military portion of the NASA budget, foreign military aid,
veterans' benefits, interest payments on debt incurred by past
military spending and other military-related expenses, the US
spends over $670 billion a year to feed its addiction to war."
book - Addicted to War
"War allows us to rise
above our small stations in life. We find nobility in a cause
and feelings of selflessness and even bliss. And at a time of
soaring deficits and financial scandals and the very deterioration
of our domestic fabric, war is a fine diversion... War gives us
a distorted sense of self; it gives us meaning."
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning
reporter for New York Times
"War, we have come to
believe, is a spectator sport. The military and the press ...
have turned war into a vast video arcade game. Its very essence-
death - is hidden from public view."
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning
reporter for New York Times
" The news and truth are
not the same thing. "
"Fascism: a system of
government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right,
typically through the merging of state and business leadership,
together with belligerent nationalism."
American Heritage Dictionary
"I have the greatest admiration
for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by
experts who have had the best training in the world -- in the
field of advertizing -- and have mastered the techniques with
exceptional proficiency ... Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours
are crude and obvious ... I think that the fundamental difference
between our worlds, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple.
You tend to believe yours ... and we tend to disbelieve ours."
Soviet correspondent based five
years in the U.S.
"There can be no liberty
for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies."
"A good part of the U.S.
public, astonishingly ignorant about everything beyond its shores,
fears and disdains all that it does not understand. The country
that has done more than any other to develop information technology,
produces television news that barely touches on world events except
to confirm that foreigners tend to be terrorists and ingrates.
Eduardo Galeano - Upside Down
" Once you have learned
how to ask questions - relevant and appropriate and substantial
questions - you have learned how to learn and no one can keep
you from learning whatever you want or need to know."
Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner
'Whether the attackers are
acting on their own or on the orders of their governments, whether
they are regulars or irregulars, if the attack is against civilians,
then they must be considered as terrorists."
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
"Television is altering
the meaning of "being informed" by creating a species
of information that might properly be called disinformation...
Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading
information - misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial
information - information that creates the illusion of knowing
something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing."
" The corporate grip on
opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western
world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so
entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent."
"If you tell a lie big
enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe
"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State
can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military
consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for
the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the
truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the
truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
"The most esteemed journalists
are precisely the most servile. For it is by making themselves
useful to the powerful that they gain access to the 'best' sources."
"The timidity of Congress
in challenging administration big lies ... rises in no small part
from the fear of contradiction and criticism from the powerful
establishment media, whose interests all too frequently parallel
those of the administration. "
Peter Dale Scott
" Rogue states that are
internally free - and the U.S. is at the outer limits in this
respect - must rely on the willingness of the educated classes
to produce accolades and tolerate or deny terrible crimes."
"Terrorism is the intentional
use of, or threat to use violence against civilians or against
civilian targets, in order to attain political aims."
"Flags are bits of colored
cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's minds
and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead. "
" The greatest danger
we have now is militarism in America. We have this huge, overpowering,
unbelievably expensive military establishment... Seasoned U.S.
Ieaders have warned against the threat of a huge military establishment
to the liberty of our citizens. I fear that from this we are going
to get even more militarism. That is, more and more functions-including
domestic police functions-will be transferred from civilian institutions
to the military, and the military will have ever greater authority
in our society."
"Pick the topic you like:
the Middle East, international terrorism, Central America, whatever
it is - the picture of the world that's presented to the public
has only the remotest relation to reality. The truth of the matter
is buried under edifice after edifice of lies upon lies. It's
all been a marvelous success from the point of view in deterring
the threat of democracy, achieved under conditions of freedom,
which is extremely interesting. It's not like a totalitarian state,
where it's done by force. These achievements are under conditions
" The modern conservative
is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy:
that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"Each party [Democratic
and Republican] has assumed the mantle of fiscal responsibility
while accusing the other of reckless spending. Yet both parties
have proposed irresponsibly high levels of military spending at
the expense of programs that meet the needs of society's most
Friends Committee on National
"The corporation is not
a person and it does not live. It is a lifeless bundle of legally
protected financial rights and relationships brilliantly designed
to serve money and its imperatives. It is money that flows in
its veins, not blood. The corporation has neither soul nor conscience."
"We now live in a state
of permanent war - a global arms industry, apparently the largest
single international business, must have its products used up
so more can be sold. There must be profits for the capitalists
and jobs for the proles... Are we not still in Caligula's Rome?
New Internationalist magazine
"One of the great attractions
of patriotism -- it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of
our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully
and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly
"As long as an economic
system provides an acceptable degree of security, growing material
wealth and opportunity for further increase for the next generation,
the average American does not ask who is running things or what
goals are being pursued."
Daniel R. Fusfeld
"Terrorism has replaced
Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country,
for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil
liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create
"Our leaders are cruel
because only those willing to be inordinately cruel and remorseless
can hold positions of leadership in the foreign policy establishment
... People capable of expressing a full human measure of compassion
and empathy toward faraway powerless strangers ... do not become
president of the United States, or vice president, or secretary
of state, or national security adviser or secretary of Defense.
Nor do they want to."
"The media are a pitiful
lot. They don't give us any history, they don't give us any analysis,
they don't tell us anything. They don't raise the most basic questions:
Who has the most weapons of mass destruction in the world by far?
Who has used weapons of mass destruction more than any other nation?
Who has killed more people in this world with weapons of mass
destruction than any other nation? The answer: the United States."
"It would be easy for
us, if we do not learn to understand the world and appreciate
the rights, privileges and duties of all other countries and peoples,
to represent in our power the same danger to the world that Fascism
"Odd that Bush and Cheney
are so delighted to put us at war when, during Vietnam, they were
both what we used to call draft dodgers."
a World War II veteran
"There was no corner of
the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger
or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they
were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, the allies
would be invented.... The fight was always invested with an aura
of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors."
"The greatest threats
to U.S. society are not coming from "terrorists" or
"rogue nations" abroad. They are coming from the words
and actions of elected officials here at home. Actions of the
Department of Justice - emboldened by the USA-Patriot Act passed
by Congress last fall - threaten to turn the U.S. into a permanent
Likewise, the greatest threats
to global peace - and to human development and security worldwide
- are coming from U.S. policymakers carrying out their lawful
Friends Committee on National
"From World War I to Korea
and Vietnam, presidents have lied to the American people because
they believed that if the American people knew the truth, they
would not support the move for war. The track record of the U.S.
news media in the twentieth century is one of regularly going
along with fraudulent efforts to get the nation into one war or
another by the administration in power."
Robert McChesney and John Nichols
"It is ... necessary to
whip up the population in support of foreign adventures. Usually
the population is pacifist, just like they were during the First
World War. The public sees no reason to get involved in foreign
adventures, killing, and torture. So you have to whip them up.
And to whip them up you have to frighten them."
"To oppose the policies
of a government does not mean you are against the country or the
people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition
should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent,
or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing.
Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of
these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer,
do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever
he commands. That's just what the Germans did with Hitler, and
look where it got them."
"If voting changed anything,
it would be illegal."
On a wall in San Francisco
"The benefits of Bush's
dividends-and capital-gains tax cut are extremely tilted toward
those who own the most stock-that is, the wealthiest people. Half
of the tax breaks would go to the best-off 1 percent of the taxpayers,
and four-fifths would go to the best-off 10 percent."
Robert S. McIntyre
"The technological capacities
the government is acquiring and the removal of basic legal checks
move us in a direction that was never possible 20 years ago. Does
this bring us a lot closer to 1984? Absolutely."
Tim Edgar, legislative counsel
for the ACLU
"The point of public relations
slogans like "Support our troops" is that they don't
mean anything... That's the whole point of good propaganda. You
want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and
everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because
it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts
your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you
support our policy? That's the one you're not allowed to talk
"You don't need a totalitarian
dictatorship like Hitler's to get by with murder ... you can do
it in a democracy as long as the Congress and the people Congress
is supposed to represent don't give a damn?"
"Why of course the people
don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country
who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to
drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist
dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice
or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them
they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of
patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
"The corporations of America
today effectively oversee the Congress, and the regulatory agencies
and indeed the presidency itself."
" Few of us can easily
surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The
thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many
innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be
internally denied. "
"There's a very committed
effort to convert the US into something resembling a Third World
society, where a few people have enormous wealth and a lot of
others have no security ..."
"One percent of the population
in the U.S. owns nearly one-half of the country's wealth."
"Media criticism does
exist in America. But by and large, it is not citizen-based criticism
designed to make media a better source of information in a democracy.
Instead, it is a cynical manipulation of the discourse designed
to silence even the mildest dissent from the conservative, militantly
pro-corporate dogma that has come to pass for news in an era when
"reporters" brag about the size of their American-flag
Robert McChesney and John Nichols
"A popular Government
without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but
a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge
will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their
own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.
"We are not hated
because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human
rights. We are hated because our government denies these
things to people in Third World countries whose resources are
coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we
have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism and
in the future, nuclear terrorism."
Robert Bowman, Vietnam Veteran
"Patriotism itself - love
of one's country and one's people - is a natural and reasonable
human feeling. But patriotism which measures one's country by
military superiority over all rivals regardless of consequence
is irrational... There is surely a more rational form of patriotism
that searches for excellence in social, economic and moral spheres
rather than in weapon systems."
Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert
" The most unpardonable
sin in society is independence of thought."
"There is no doubt that
if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists.
If we lived in a country where the police were allowed to search
your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country
where the government is entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop
on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail communications;
if we lived in a country where people could be held indefinitely
based . . . on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, the
government would probably discover and arrest more terrorists,
or would-be terrorists.... But that wouldn't be a country in which
we would want to live."
Senator Russ Feingold